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Thinking of moving to the West Midlands or need some tips on how to make the most of living here as a designer? Read on my friend.

Intro to Birmingham

Awesome people

Places to eat & drink

Intro to Birmingham

Welcome to Birmingham, the birthplace of heavy metal, the football league and the Peaky Blinders. Birmingham is a city to be proud of, a major part of the industrial revolution and “the workshop of the world”. It’s a multicultural, foodie haven filled to the brim with exciting talent that’s still discovering its voice.

We’re the youngest city in Europe and are founding more start-ups than anywhere else outside London. TL:DR, come to Birmingham – it’s on the ascendency.

Birmingham skyline at night

“The city of 1000 trades”

What’s life like in Birmingham?

For the past few decades, Birmingham has struggled with its identity. It almost became embarrassed of the things it was most famous for (industry, heavy metal) and the outward perception of the city was one of a concrete hell.

In the past 10 years that has all changed. We’re now in an independent revolution with dozens of restaurants and retailers kicking back against the fall of the high street. There’s never been a better time to eat in the city with amazing venues that cater to every taste bud.

Buying & renting

One of the great things about Birmingham is that it’s cheap to live here. There are certainly some more expensive spots like Harborne or Moseley, but moving slightly out of those areas into Bearwood or Stirchley will net you a lovely 3-bed house for less than £700 per month.


Birmingham is a festival city. There’s at least one festival every week and there are some superb ones. We’re obviously biased, but since you’re here you probably want to check out Birmingham Design Festival run by us. There’s also Birmingham Literature Festival, Verve Poetry Festival, Flatpack film festival and Birmingham Weekender.

Nightlife is pretty decent here, though we do better with bars and live music than with clubs. There’s a list of top places below.

Awesome people doing awesome things

Provide Shop

Provide creates products and artworks inspired by the city of Birmingham

They work with a wide range of artists, designers and makers because we believe in giving independent creativity space to experiment.

Visit the online store


With an emphasis on high quality contemporary, classic, licensed furniture, lighting and accessories, their curated products are available online and from a subterranean, showroom, a gentle stone’s throw from St Paul’s Square.

Visit their store

A selection of handmade jewellery


Maker collective showcasing artisans, designers & makers.

Find out more


Spaceplay is an experimental design studio which explores the use of architectural forms, materiality, and conceptual design approaches to create designer and limited edition products and artwork.

Find out more

The Emma Press

The Emma Press is an independent publisher based in the Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham, specialising in poetry, short fiction and children’s books.

Learn more